SpaceX fires up the Super Heavy booster ahead of Flight 4

33 Raptor engines firing during a static fire test (Credit SpaceX)

SpaceX lit all 33 Raptor engines on Booster 11 ahead of the fourth test flight, which could come as early as next month.

The company recently completed testing on Ship 29 with two successful static fires, moved it back to the production site to complete the last remaining tasks before launch, and moved right into the next tests with the Super Heavy booster.

After rolling down Highway 4 from the production site to the launch site, the chopsticks lifted Booster 11 onto the launch mount, and in just over a day, SpaceX began the final steps needed before the fourth flight.

Booster 11 conducts a static fire ahead of the 4th test flight (Credit: SpaceX)

As the countdown hit the final seconds, the FireX system began dispersing any gases around the engines, followed by the water suppression system flooding the pad to protect it from the power of all 33 Raptor engines, which lit in a fury and ran for around 7 to 8 seconds before shutting down.

In the usual tradition, SpaceX released a drone video just hours after the test, showcasing the power of the vehicle; even with the engines at roughly 50 percent power, shockwaves are seen traveling through the exhaust plume as the engines fire.

SpaceX will now perform a deep-dive data review and determine whether to perform another static fire or move the booster back to the production site for final preparations and the 4th flight test, which could come as soon as next month.

Back at the production site, Ship 29 is undergoing its last checkouts, including replacing the heatshield tiles on the spacecraft’s nose, before it is moved back to the launch site and stacked on top of Booster 11 for a final wet dress rehearsal before launch.

If the data comes back good and the final preparations aren’t extensive, the last hurdle will once again be approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, however, officials have said they do not expect the process to take long following the 3rd flight which they considered a success.

Do you think we will see a launch of Starship next month, or is June more likely?

Questions or comments? Shoot me an email at, or Tweet me @RDAnglePhoto.

SpaceX fires up the Super Heavy booster ahead of Flight 4
To Top